Practical Steps to Liberate Palestine By Shaykh Usama bin Ladin
Rabi’ al-Awwal 1430
Producer AS-SAHAB MEDIAAudio/Visual sound, color
All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His aid and forgiveness, and we seek refuge in Allah from the evil in ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides cannot be led astray, and he who is led astray cannot be guided. I bear witness that there is no God other than Allah alone, without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
As for what comes after:
My Muslim Ummah: this talk of mine is for you, and concerns what must be done to help our family in the Blessed Land, because we have been late in helping them and that has hurt our causes and made them even more difficult and complicated.
For how long must our family in Palestine live in fear, while we enjoy security – albeit a false, temporary security? For how long must the people of Gaza live under siege, while we live in comfort and luxury – at least for the time being? And for how long will we sit while their hearts burn for their children, who were burned by the white phosphorous bombs with the collusion of Arab rulers, which caused even brave and mighty men to cry, due to the enormity of the event. Their crying here is more eloquent and expressive than thousands of sermons about the magnitude of the calamity.
And the stabbing of close relations is severer
For a man than the blow of the sword
It is no surprise that some of our mothers and sisters in Gaza died or almost died, not because of shrapnel or bullets, nor because of the blockade, for the blockade is nothing as long as the child is still there; but the blockade is the day he is lost. For a mother, the kings and all that they own are smaller in her eyes than her little one, but the American aircraft in the hands of the Jews bomb and bomb again, and snatch the little ones of the neighborhood, among them her little ones; and this is what makes our mothers and sisters tremble in fear, and almost die with every breath. Hearing isn’t like seeing, and only the one who has had his child snatched from him knows what it’s like to be bereaved, and only the one who has endured the bombing knows what bombing is like; and there is no Mu’tasim to take revenge from the tyrants.
It must be pointed out that it is part of psychological defeat and betrayal of the religion, the Ummah and the blood of the martyrs to praise the one who colluded in killing them and describe him as “Gaza’s hope,” while its residents are noble and defiant people who reject that.
Gaza’s youth died so it could live
And praise of Kufr makes free ones burn with anger
Peoples were liberated with their spears
So how can they be enslaved with their spears?
And the tragedies that have befallen you
Have left deep wounds in my heart
Nothing protects creeds like victims
Nor brings rights near nor achieves them
Those in power have sold out the causes
And are slaves of the unbelievers
Ask he who besieged your children
Is there any difference between his heart and a stone?
The hearts of our rulers are like those of the enemies
Whether in Najd or in Egypt, they never soften
Pharoahs who have returned after a time
To humiliate the sons of Arabness and enslave them
You have cooperated with the enemies against us
So cutting your necks is a duty in the religion
My Muslim Ummah: more than 90 years have passed since the occupation of Palestine, and during that time it has tasted the two bitterest things at the hands of the Christians and Jews. And despite the past efforts which have been made, including the repeated demonstrations and festivals, the occupation continues. So I ask of you – my Ummah – a few minutes for me to put in front of you practical steps for its liberation, to discharge the obligation and motivate the Ummah. This requires speaking the truth even if it be bitter, and it is also a must that it be applied to the weak as well as the nobleman, even if that be heavy; to do otherwise is the path to ruin, so beware! The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Those before you were ruined because when the nobleman among them stole, they would let him go, but when the weak one among them stole, they would execute on him the Hadd (punishment).” Agreed upon.
My Muslim Ummah: from the bitter truth which must be declared is that despite our eagerness to rescue our family in Gaza and lift the blockade from them, there are those who are even more concerned for them than we are – and I mean by that our brothers in the rest of Palestine, including the West Bank – yet were unable to come to the aid of their family and relatives, for an obvious reason: their country is occupied, and the soldiers of the Zionists and soldiers of the Authority led by Abbas prevent them from helping their brothers there.
This reason is the same reason which prevents us from helping our family in Gaza. The bitter truth is that our countries are occupied from within, and the Arab Zionists – the region’s rulers and our enemy’s proxies – and their soldiers are the ones who prevent us from helping the weak and oppressed there.
So unless we realize that our countries are occupied in the interest of the rulers and those who appointed them, and that they are helped in that by both military as well as civilian armies, the latter being the most important and dangerous and led by the evil scholars and those of the educated class and media men whom they have hired; [armies which] lead the Ummah astray and spread the spirit of defeat in it and train it in every way possible to march behind the rulers, so they can continue to usurp government and strip the Ummah of its will through temptation and intimidation, in order that our Ummah become incapable of taking the initiative and moving outside the influence of the rulers and their men…
Unless we realize this, and work to expose the truth about them and warn against them and remove them and liberate ourselves from their authority, we will never be able to liberate Palestine, as someone who doesn’t have something can’t give it, and we will continue to revolve in the closed circle in which we have been marching ever since the occupation of the Blessed Land.
My Muslim Ummah: the one who examines conditions in Palestine sees that the necessary requirements for the Jihad to achieve its goals still need to be completed, despite the difficulty of that in occupied Palestine, especially with the embargo imposed on our family there, not to mention the “calming” agreements which are signed every now and then; and the situation throughout the past decades confirms that. This is why a sufficient force of Mujahideen must be formed to lift the blockade from Palestine so they can help our family there, because all the Arab cordon states have closed their borders with Palestine and are guarding them from the movement of the Mujahideen; and moreover, in regard to the part which had been excepted from the northern front of Palestine on the border with Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah and his party agreed to the resolution closing it: Resolution 1701, which calls for the entrance of thousands of Crusader forces to protect the Jews. And thus there is no difference in this issue between Hassan and Hosni and the rest of the Arab idol-kings who have besieged our family there.
On the basis of the above, we must search for states outside the cordon states from which the Mujahideen can move out to open the borders by force, so that we can reach our family in the environs of blessed al-Aqsa; and the rare and valuable opportunity for those honest in their desire to deliver al-Aqsa is in backing the Mujahideen in Iraq with everything they need in order to liberate Mesopotamia. And with that they will have performed two duties: the defeat of the Zionists’ biggest ally, before they move on to Jordan, as it is the best and widest of the fronts, and half its residents are from the people of Palestine who were expelled from it in the past; and from Jordan, the second move will be to the West Bank and neighboring areas, and the borders will be opened by force to make up for the deficiency in necessary requirements, so that all of Palestine from the river to the sea can be liberated, Allah permitting. This, then, is the Shari’ah-compliant way and the practical and realistic way as well, far away from expending efforts in statements and actions the majority of which neither repel the might of arms nor inflict injuries on the enemy.
So enough sitting and wasting of time and enough shirking of responsibility: the holocaust of Gaza in the midst of this long siege is an important and historic event and an articulate tragedy which affirms the need for detachment of the Muslims from the hypocrites. It is not right that our condition after Gaza be like our condition prior to it: rather, the order of the day is serious action and preparation for Jihad, to bring about truth and cancel falsehood. And we must declare ourselves innocent before Allah the Most High of anyone who colludes with the enemies against the people of Gaza. Disowning these colluders isn’t an optional act: no, it is one of the two pillars of Tawheed [Islamic monotheism]. Helping the unbelievers against the Muslims is major Kufr (unbelief) which expels one from Islam. Read the statement of Allah, the Most High: “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guides not a people unjust” (5:51), and the statement of Allah, “Whoever disbelieves in the Taghut [the idol] and believes in Allah has grasped the strongest handhold which knows no breaking. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (2:256)
So this event is a test for all of us: the one who follows the guidance succeeds in it, and the one who goes astray fails in it. We are in need of honest leaderships which do what is necessary to collect a sufficient amount of the Muslims’ energies in this field. The Ummah is suffering from a huge failure of leadership. Although many of its sons think that they have leaderships leading them to the shore of safety – if not at the level of the first tier of kings and presidents, then at least at the level of the second and third tier – yet the fact is, this is a major delusion and a primary hiding place of the defect, and Palestine remaining for nine decades under occupation, in addition to other [occupations], not to mention the spread of poverty, ignorance and disease despite the amount of resources, is a clear indicator of that. A ship, however large and pretty it might be, cannot reach the shore of safety if it doesn’t have a trustworthy leadership.
We know the truth about the leaderships of the first tier and their subjugation to our enemies, but the worse and bitterer thing is that they have been able to train many of the leaderships which come after them. Unless the leaders of the second tier and those close to them change what is in them in terms of inclining toward falsehood and sweet-talking it, or are replaced, the Ummah will never make progress on the road to liberation of al-Aqsa, because they have become obstacles and barriers on the road taking the Ummah out of this wilderness. They are like a railroad, with the rulers’ train at the front and the train of the leaderships of the second tier and those close to them just behind them, and both of the trains have been stopped for years [blocking] the road to the liberation of Palestine. So the only way to get to al-Aqsa is to remove both trains from the road and leave them behind; but it will be difficult to do that unless many of the Muslims wake up and abandon blameworthy fanaticism towards homelands and individuals, whether they be rulers, scholars or leaderships of Islamic groups, and abandon their opposition to giving them advice and executing the truth on them. If they don’t do that, then their actions say that they are taking the path that ruined nations before us, and this is why the Ummah has been in a labyrinth of darkness for decades, and it appears that they haven’t understood the statement of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “By Allah, were Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, to steal, I would cut off her hand” (Agreed upon).
The spirit of advice must run in us in order for the march to be rectified, and [we must realize] that the truth is greater than everyone, and the health and safety of the truth is more important than the health and safety of homelands, individuals, parties and groups. Everyone’s words are accepted and rejected except for the words of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said, “The religion is advice” (al-Tirmizi, al-Nasa’i, Ahmad). Yes, if we neglect it, we lose the religion, and our loss is due to that. So this is our reality, and Umar (with whom Allah was pleased) said, “We are a people whom Allah has honored with Islam, and whenever we seek honor in something else, Allah will humiliate us.” So take heed, O you who can see.
Returning to the topic of leadership, the path to the liberation of al-Aqsa needs real, honest, independent, strong, trustworthy leaderships at the level of these massive events and well-versed in the Fiqh of current affairs and the Fiqh of the Shari’ah, who will set up an advice committee with branches all over the Islamic world which will strive to spread information and spread legal and political awareness among the sons of the Ummah, and it is then that minds will be liberated from ignorance and gullibility and spirits will be liberated from subjugation and submission to the rulers subjugated to our enemies.
Knowing the dangerousness of this reality in which we live and the role the rulers and their aides play in it is the first step towards forming a self-motivating force which will move to change this dark reality; and here the Fiqh of the Shari’ah must be applied to this reality, and it is then that our movements will be regulated according to the straight path, to rectify the abominable conditions and lift the aggression from our Ummah.
The members of this committee must also be protected from the interference of the rulers in their council, and must disown them all and beware of their infiltration of their committee by way of the evil scholars, as is the case with so many of the committees set up in our countries; and one of their duties is to disseminate the legal rules relating to these topics, like emphasizing that Jihad is obligatory until the sufficiency is reached, and emphasizing the fatwa published by some of the people of knowledge during the events of Gaza, which stated that he who helps the enemies against the Muslims is committing a nullifier of Islam and listed the rules that stem from that.
I also place in front of the scholars and preachers some proposals in this field, asking them to make every effort to develop and perfect them. Among the most important of these proposals:
First, the drawing up of lists which name the honest scholars, preachers, thinkers and writers who advise their Ummah, along with their most prominent works, and working to spread them among the Ummah’s masses. And the presence of some unintentional errors mustn’t be an obstacle: rather, these errors should be noted and advice given; otherwise, there will be no scholar left for us, not to mention those less than scholars. An effort also must be made to give prominence to honest leaderships which adhere to the methodology of Islam.
Second, the correcting of legal concepts in the thought and life of the Ummah. Some beneficial books towards that include:
- “Achievement of the Glorious” by Shaykh Abd al-Rahman bin Hasan Al Shaykh, which is a very important book which talks about Tawheed and warns against Shirk [polytheism], including the Shirk of graves and the Shirk of palaces.
- Two books by Shaykh Muhammad Qutb, “Concepts Which Must Be Corrected” and “Are We Muslims?”
- And the book “The Clarification of the Unbelief of He Who Aids the Americans” by the Mujahid Shaykh Nasir bin Hamd al-Fahd (may Allah free him from the prisons of al-Riyadh).
There is a fifth book of benefit, which evaluates all the regimes in the Islamic world, even though its title is “The Saudi Regime on the Scales of Islam”; and many beneficial books can easily be read on the Internet, like on the al-Tawheed wal-Jihad website.
Third, the notifying of the Ummah that there is a war under way to alter and put to death the legal names and terminology in order to commit what Allah has forbidden. That must be refuted and the legal names and words spread. Some examples of that:
- The violation of the prohibition of usury, by calling it “interest” and calling usurious banks “merchant banks.”
- When they wanted to violate the prohibition of wine, they called it “spirits” and other such names.
- When they wanted to combat the summit of the hump of Islam, Jihad in Allah’s path, they labeled it “violence” and “terrorism.”
- When they wanted to commit the nullifiers of Islam and ally themselves with the enemies of Allah, they put to death the punishment for apostasy and described anyone calling for the application of this punishment a “Takfeeri.”
And there is talk of calling the unbeliever, apostate, Zindeeq, and hypocrite by the name “the other,” and they shun the use of legal terms. Similar are sophistries like “dialogue of religions,” “freedom of opinion,” “freedom of speech,” “peaceful coexistence,” “friendly states,” and the contracts for the provision of facilities to support the Crusader warships at the same time as the Jews and Christians carry out the murder of our brothers in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Waziristan, Somalia, Kashmir, the Philippines and Chechnya. So sophistry in names and terms is a wide-ranging field which must be watched and the truth about it and those who promote it revealed.
Fourth, the drawing up of lists which include our enemies from the hypocrites and their media, especially information media like newspapers, books, magazines, radio stations and satellite channels, of which the most dangerous are the latter two, like the British Broadcasting Corporation and its sisters and the al-Hurrah and al-Arabiyyah channels. Also, the drawing up of lists of those whose efforts serve the interests of our enemies without them realizing it, like the rumormongers, deserters and morale-destroyers among the Muslims, in accordance with legal regulations, and disseminating the lists to the Ummah with all available means so that it can warn them, and accompanying those lists with documents and evidence from their statements and actions as proof of that, along with a refutation; and I mention here the statement of Allah, the Most High, “O ye who believe! Be steadfast in the cause of Allah, bearing witness in equity; and let not the hatred and animosity of a people to you make you transgress and abandon justice. Be just, for that is closer to piety. And fear Allah. Surely, Allah is Aware of what you do.” (5:8)
Revealing the truth about the hypocrites is a Quranic methodology, and the scholars have agreed on the obligatory nature of revealing the hypocrites and innovators. Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked, “Do you prefer that a man fast, pray and perform ‘Itikaf, or that he speak about the people of innovation?” He replied, “If he prays and performs ‘Itikaf, it’s for himself, but if he speaks about the people of innovation, it’s for the Muslims, so this is better.”
The Ummah is in dire need today – especially after this war against Gaza – of acquainting itself with the hypocrites on all fronts, to beware of them, then perform Jihad against them, as in the statement of the Most High, “When you look at them, their bodies please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. It is as if they are pieces of timber propped up. They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies, so beware of them. Allah curse them, how they lie!” (63:4), and the statement of Allah, the Most High, “O Prophet! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be harsh against them. Their abode is Hell, and an evil destination it is.” (9:73)
To summarize, then: there must be honest leaders, legal and political awareness-building, Jihad in Allah’s path, and exposure of the truth about the hypocrites and differentiation and separation from them, keeping in mind that separation is something already being implemented on the side of the rulers. They have security organs whose personnel number in the hundreds of thousands and which keep watch and spy on those who advise their Ummah, and draw up lists of them which are called “blacklists” to combat them in numerous ways: through temptation and cajolement, and layoffs and prison, and travel bans, and pursuit, and smearing of their reputations, and even murder, all in order to come between them and the pulpits of guidance from which they would advise their Ummah and warn it against their conspiracies; meanwhile, they and their ‘Ulama and media are able to freely engage in deceit and misdirection of the Ummah. And in regard to the lists of our enemies, and in view of time constraints, I will suffice by describing their senior leaders in our countries. In these events, people have been distinguished, especially the noblemen and chieftains, whether rulers or ‘Ulama; and it has become clear that some of the Arab rulers have colluded with the Crusader/Zionist coalition against our people: they are the ones whom America calls “rulers of moderate states.” The fact is, all states of the Islamic world from Indonesia to Mauritania without exception fall into one of two categories: crooked states and even more crooked states; and Islam is innocent of all of their rulers.
It is no secret that what helped the first group at the outset of Islam to harden and strengthen so that it could bear the burdens of setting up the Islamic state were a number of things, most important of which – after proper faith and asceticism – was the distinction between the believers and hypocrites. The tremendous events and immense tragedies – particularly the wars and blows – shook the bad from the good and distinguished the honest from the hypocrite, as in the Most High’s statement, “What you suffered on the day the two armies met was with the permission of Allah, in order that He might know the believers and know the hypocrites, who were told, ‘Come, fight in the way of Allah, or [at least] defend’. They said, ‘If we knew of a fight, we would follow you’. They were that day nearer to unbelief than to faith. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts. And Allah knows quite well what they hide.” (3:166-167)
Among the disasters which befell the Muslims on the day of Uhud is that a third of the army submitted to the head of the hypocrites, Abdullah bin Ubay bin Salool, and obeyed him, and he betrayed them and ordered them not to fight the enemies. As for today, all official armies of the Ummah are under the command of the hypocrites from the rulers of the region, while most of the unofficial armies are under the command of the leaders of the Islamic groups, many of whom believe that these rulers are legitimate rulers whom it is forbidden to rebel against; so how can’t tragedies befall us one after the other?! This became clearly apparent in these groups’ desertion of Gaza and its people, as they awaited permission from the hypocrites before performing Jihad; so what sort of taking advantage of the youth is this?!
Our duty is to distance the hypocrites and deserters from the fields of leadership and guidance, like the Companions did after the Uhud expedition; when Ibn Salool got up to give a speech to the Muslims like he used to do before – he was a chief among his people and he wanted to preserve his status by instructing the first group of Muslims – but the Companions tugged at his clothes from all sides and said, “Sit down, O enemy of Allah: you aren’t fit for that after you did what you did.”
How many are the men who assume control of the pulpits of guidance in their various forms and deceive the Ummah to rally around the hypocrites who rule the region, and make them abandon combat to liberate Palestine. So how fitting it is for us to say to every one of them – face-to-face or over the phone – what was said to their first president Ibn Salool: “Sit down, O enemy of Allah: you aren’t fit for that after you did what you did.” What the Companions (with whom Allah was pleased) did with Ibn Salool was to expose him and remove him from the pulpits of guidance in the Muslim group, lest he do it again in another expedition and leave with a third of the army, for the tragedies to repeat themselves; and this is what we should do, because the hypocrites and deserters have been rerunning the disasters on us for decades. So these are some proposals which I hope are in the interest of the general project to rescue the Ummah and break and remove the shackles which many of its sons have been restrained with, so that they be liberated from them and there emerge from their midst a number sufficient to carry out the most obligatory obligation after faith: repelling the attacking enemy which ruins religion and worldly life. Opening one of the links of the thick chain placed around our necks will help us to take down and throw away the rest of the links, Allah willing.
The opportunity is there today to carry out this duty in a number of the open fields of Jihad, especially in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and the Islamic Maghreb. So I ask Allah to guide us to help the religion and perform Jihad in His Path, so that we liberate the Muslim countries, especially Iraq, and set off from them to Palestine.
In closing, I remind my Ummah of the importance of keeping our hearts close to the strengtheners of faith, and keeping them away from the places of temptation and hypocrisy, and what helps us in that is that our tongues be moist with the remembrance of Allah the Most High, and that we read daily a thirtieth part of the Noble Quran with reflection and contemplation, which clears the hearts and brightens the minds, and shows us the shared attributes of our enemies, the polytheists and hypocrites, throughout the ages; and read the statement of Allah, the Most High: “O mankind! There indeed has come to you an Exhortation from your Lord and a healing for whatever disease there is in the hearts, and guidance and mercy for the believers.” (10:57)
I also remind you of the importance of reading the suggested books and accomplishing the booklets of lists and perusing and disseminating them, because they are beacons in the midst of the darkness of the domestic and foreign attacks on us.
Finally, I exhort myself and my brothers with these verses:
And our determinations ask me
Why the cowardice and weakness
When our worlds have been filled
By Taghuts who have pictures
To weaken our faith
And in them lie the danger
My brother, O superpower
The path of Allah is your goal
Do you fear death
When death is your Paradise?
The column of religion isn’t strengthened
By voting and desertion
Nothing but the sword benefits
I swear, O youth of this age
O Allah, show us truth as truth and guide us to follow it, and show us falsehood as falsehood and guide us to avoid it. O Allah, approve for our Ummah a righteous rule in which those who obey You are honored and those who disobey You are disgraced, and in which good is enjoined and evil forbidden. O Allah, our Lord, give us in this world good and in the next good and save us from the punishment of the Fire. O Allah, give victory to the Mujahideen everywhere and accept their martyrs and heal their wounded and free their captives. You are able to do all things. O Allah, punish the Crusader/Zionist coalition and those who help it. O Allah, we have no power nor strength except with You, so aid us with aid from You and give us victory over the unbelieving people. O Allah, send prayers and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and all his companions; and our final prayer is that all praise is for Allah, Lord of the worlds.